square sail

\ ˈskwer-ˌsāl How to pronounce square sail (audio) , -səl\

Definition of square sail

: a 4-sided sail extended on a yard suspended at the middle from a mast

Examples of square sail in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

When the wind blew favorably, the crew would have hoisted a square sail on the mast; the rest of the time, rowers would have lined up on the benches and propelled the ship along with large oars. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "This ancient Greek ship is the oldest intact shipwreck ever discovered," 24 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'square sail.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of square sail

1600, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about square sail

Share square sail

Statistics for square sail

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for square sail

The first known use of square sail was in 1600

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on square sail

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with square sail

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about square sail

Comments on square sail

What made you want to look up square sail? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a flaw that causes the downfall of a hero

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!